Legion still focused on credentialing issue

The American Legion’s Economic Division will host a Credentialing Roundtable during the organization’s 94th National Convention in Indianapolis to focus on improving veterans’ job prospects in the credential and professional fields. The event will bring together selected stakeholders and experts in credentialing at the downtown Mariott Hotel to focus on key issues and further a dialogue on credentialing that The American Legion started in February.

The roundtable will explore ways to build on the various successes of the National Credentialing Summit, hosted by the Legion and U.S. Chamber of Commerce during the Legion’s Washington Conference in February. The key product of that summit was the Veterans Skills to Jobs Act, which President Obama signed into law last month. The bill allows military training to satisfy training or certification requirements needed to qualify for a federal license in areas like the maritime or aviation industries. The Legion and U.S. Chamber were among the first organizations lobbying for the legislation.

Reviewing the implementation of the law and the effect it’s had on different agencies will be among the roundtable’s priorities. Representatives from the Departments of Labor, Defense and Transportation will be on hand to discuss implementation at the federal level, and representatives from the private sector will attend to give their thoughts on how the law has been implemented in their respective fields and industries.

Credentialing at the state level will also be a topic, as state government officials will attend to discuss barriers and obstacles that exist in allowing military training to count for certification for state licenses. The American Legion will seek ways to help state lawmakers create copycat legislation in their states to allow veterans to put their service-learned skills to use.

"The credentialing issue was largely off the radar of veterans supporters and lawmakers until the Legion’s National Credentialing Summit in February," said Steve Gonzalez, assistant director of the Legion’s Economic Division. "In the time since, key legislation has been passed and the credentialing issue has garnered significant attention from the media and veterans advocates. The Credentialing Roundtable figures to make similar headway."

The roundtable is open to the public and will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Indianapolis Marriott, 350 West Maryland St., in the Indiana Ballroom, Section G, First Floor.